1 SEP 2016: A Minnesota Golden Gophers helmet during the team prayer during the NCAA Division I matchup between the Oregon State Beavers and the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by: David Berding/Icon Sportswire)
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Minnesota loses Davonte Fitzgerald for season with ACL tear

Frank Mattia/Icon Sportswire

The Minnesota Golden Gophers will be without junior forward Davonte Fitzgerald after he suffered a torn ACL, and medial and lateral meniscus. The transfer from Texas A&M suffered the injury in a non-contact situation during Thursday’s practice, the school announced in a statement.

Fitzgerald sat out the 2015-16 season after transferring to Minnesota from Texas A&M in accordance with the NCAA’s transfer rules. As a freshman with the Aggies, the forward averaged 7.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per game in over 15 minutes per game. His playing time and production fell off as a sophomore when he averaged fewer than 10 minutes per game.

The transfer was expected to be part of the Minnesota rotation in the 2016-17 season. He has averaged over two three-point attempts per game in his career despite converting on less than 30 percent of those shots.

“We are disappointed in the recent injury news as it pertains to Davonte,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino, the son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, said in a release. “He had worked extremely hard to get himself ready for the season. We are confident he will be back and ready to go next season.”

In the 2015-16 season, the Golden Gophers went 8-23, and only 2-16 in Big Ten Conference play. They failed to receive an invite to a postseason tournament for a second consecutive season after winning the NIT in 2014 in Pitino’s first season as head coach.

Despite that lack of success, the team was able to land a top recruit in Amir Coffey, who was considered the best high school player in the state of Minnesota in his recruiting cohort.

Minnesota loses Davonte Fitzgerald for season with ACL tear
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